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Tax avoidance reviews.

HMRC is committed to challenging what it perceives to be tax avoidance. In 2014 it created the Counter-Avoidance Directorate as HMRC’s centre of expertise on tackling tax avoidance to bring together operational and policy resource into a single directorate.

Consequently, most casework on schemes, users and promoters could be worked and managed in one place. HMRC’s Counter-Avoidance Directorate work to:-

  • Tighten legislation it considers is being exploited
  • Strength the reporting requirements required under the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance (DOTAS) arrangements
  • Challenge tax avoidance schemes where appropriate, including litigation before the tax tribunals and courts
  • Use increased powers, including accelerated payment notices (APNs) and follower notices that require advance payment of tax in a dispute
  • Identify any tax avoidance schemes where criminality or fraud is suspected; and
  • Continue the debate about the line between legitimate tax planning and tax avoidance and the public's perception that tax avoidance is not acceptable.

Those who have engaged in tax planning that is perceived by HMRC to be tax avoidance are far more open to scrutiny than ever before with HMRC considering their tax affairs in depth with potential financial and reputational repercussions.

Tax enquiries into tax avoidance schemes are often lengthy, wide-ranging and highly technical. We are increasingly being contacted by clients/agents who have been using tax planning providers to invest in what they believed were investment products with tax benefits that are now being investigated by HMRC and viewed as toxic and contrived. Often the tax planning provider are no longer in business leaving the clients without technical and strategic support/advice to deal with the detailed technical arguments and requests for voluminous information.

How can we help?

Our team can help to manage tax avoidance investigations to best defend your position. Where appropriate, we work closely with leading Tax Counsel to provide you with a multi-disciplined team to provide you with the most comprehensive advice and representation. In the first instance we will attempt to settle the case without litigation. Our work typically includes: -

Providing a second opinion as to the validity of the tax planning arrangement(s) you have participated in;

  • Liaising with HMRC to possibly settling the case without litigation
  • Advising on whether you may have been mis-sold the tax planning arrangement(s);
  • Advising on and challenging APNs and follower notices
  • Providing technical advice and support (as case law evolves)
  • If appropriate, negotiating a monetary settlement with HMRC on the best terms available
  • If appropriate, preparing the case for Tax Tribunal; and
  • If appropriate, instructing Tax Counsel.

Putting it simply, we provide a discreet and comprehensive service that is tailored to meet your unique needs and protect your interests.

Request a callback or meeting

If you'd like us to give you a call, fill in your details below and we'll email to arrange a good time to speak to our Head of Tax investigations team, Mark Taylor. All communications are in the strictest confidence.

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